To The Floor

Friday, October 4, 2013

 For those of you who don't know- my studio is situated in The Bamberger Mansion here in Salt Lake. It was built in 1880 by Samuel Bamberger- an immigrant from Germany. He later became governor of Utah in 1917. He bridged the political chasm between Mormons vs. Non-Mormons because of his abstinence of alcohol and tobacco and also on his good relations with people in general. The house was renovated by my current landlord, John B. Anderson, in 1979.

It's an old house. It's a beautiful house. The moment you touch the door handle, and see the intricate detailed brass, you can feel it. The winding staircase, the old musty smells, and the high ceilings make this place so incredibly charming and quirky in it's own right. It also reminds me of Paris when I lived there. The smell and the design and the dark wood accents. Which is, of course, perfect.

My studio has an old fireplace in it. Which is painted to look like beautiful marble and onyx. But truth be told it is made from cast iron. That required a special skill-set back in the day- to create normal surfaces to look like expensive wood or stone. Most pioneers didn't have any money or any way of obtaining the desired materials for building, so they would hire these particular artisans who specialized in this technique to paint it. The Tabernacle in Temple Square also has normal wood to look like expensive oak. And the marble pillars inside are also painted.

My studio had old carpet put in it. Not ideal for an artists studio. For a few months I've been bugging my landlord to take it out- and he finally relented. I thought there were painted red floors underneath, because the corner I pulled away was red wood floor. But as I began pulling it up, I realized I was mistaken. There was unfinished pine covered in dust, and.. sand? It was pretty gross. I was scared I'd made a big mistake. But I kept going, cleaning, dusting, mopping- until it looked salvageable.

Because I can't invest too much in this space (I don't own it) I decided to just match the red and paint it all one color. What I really wanted to do was refinish the wood and polyurethane it. But the wood is pine and soft and reeeeally old and like I said.. I don't have extra $$ or time to put into it.

SO- after a bit of color debating- my dear friend Blair and I painted it a nice Red Ochre color. It looks beautiful. And makes the space so much better. It was exactly how I'd pictured it to look.

Above photos document it pretty well.



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